How can you improve the organic click through traffic on your law firm or medical practice website? Focus on your page titles.
Hands down, the page title tag continues to be the most important part of each page of your website and organic search engine placement.
- Title Length: You can use so-called stop words (words that are ignored by engines), such as the, is, of, a, and, as well as punctuation. This means that you can use stop words to help your tags make sense to users without running the risk of diluting the importance of your target keywords. When creating titles for your home page, practice area pages and library pages, anything more than 63 characters is mostly unnecessary. From a search engine ranking perspective, you should limit titles to only your best keywords. Typically, pages rank better when there is more than one keyword within the tag.
- Word Proximity: Search engines actually do pay attention to the distance between words for multiple keyword searches. For example, use Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer instead of Smith and Smith Medical Malpractice Lawyers serving Virginians for 100 years.
- Keyword Location: Make sure your keyword is before your firm or practice name. As a general rule, the closer you place your keyword to the beginning of the title the better the ranking advantage.
- Word Order: The search engines do pay attention to the order of your keywords, so be sure to position them in the most likely order that real people typically use when expressing them in everyday language. However, be aware of the keyword search opportunities that may also be available when you switch the keyword order around. There may be instances where you'll find that reversing the keyword order sends good traffic with less competition. Try different variations on different pages.
- Repetitions: Certainly you should take into consideration the typical search-phrase usages as well as research the top scoring pages before you decide. Be sure to bear in mind that simplistic duplication of words without regard to human readability will typically work against you. Can or should you use the keyword more than once in the title? Sure, but do it logically. Do not repeat keywords one after the other as in keyword, keyword, keyword. However, you remember that the vast majority of the top scoring websites do not repeat keywords within the title. Once is usually enough.
- Titles for Humans: Because the tag is displayed as the headline for your page in the search results, its role is to motivate people to click your link. Therefore, the tag becomes the headline for your page. Its job is to reassure the searcher that, indeed, your page's content is all about exactly what they are looking for. Otherwise, why would anyone bother to click your link? Be compelling—there is one enduring constant of tag content creation that must remain a top priority—how well the text appeals to your human prospects.
- What Words to Use: However, it's surprising to see how often this very basic and simple fact of search engine marketing and optimization is missed on many websites. We still see many, many law firm and medical practice websites with the same tag on every single page of their site —usually the name of the attorney, firm, doctor, or practice. This is a big mistake. By inserting descriptive, keyword-rich tags into your web pages you’re giving the engines exactly what they need to better index and rank your pages and bring you the prospects you are looking for. It should be clear that you must carefully select your best targeted keywords as your tag.